NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The last six residents of a 90-year-old Nashville facility for the disabled will relocate this month to small group homes.
The Clover Bottom Developmental Center opened in 1923. By its peak in the 1960s it housed 1,500 people with physical and intellectual disabilities, WPLN-FM (http://bit.ly/1Mmalj0 ) reported.
Accused in the 1990s of simply warehousing the disabled, Clover Bottom was slated to close in 2010 but has faced numerous delays.
At a closing ceremony Thursday, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Debra Payne said the move to group homes has taken time because the department wanted to do it right.
"Though highly criticized for how long this closure has taken ... we took the time to obtain the funding, purchase land, and build these homes within local communities," Payne said. "We did this because it was the right thing to do."
Payne said that for many years, there was no non-institutional model for supporting people with disabilities.
"We now know that people with disabilities can be supported to be a part of their communities," Payne said. "We know that many people with disabilities can work in a community setting and earn a competitive wage. We also know that many people can live more independently."
Information from: WPLN-FM, http://www.wpln.org/